The annual IMRO awards celebrate the dedication and passion of those who work in Ireland’s live music venues, providing the public with an exceptional live music experience on a weekly basis.
More than 12,000 IMRO members considered hundreds of venues across the country for the shortlist. Venues were judged on their commitment to providing the core elements that make for a great live music venue – atmosphere, sound and lighting, staging, diversity of programming and importantly, the staff and management of each venue, and from the shortlist, the public voted for their top live venues.
At the much-anticipated tenth IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards at the Irish Music Rights Organisation Headquarters in Dublin this week, Connolly’s of Leap scooped up the 2017 Munster Live Venue of the Year award.
Commenting on the win, owner of the venue Sam McNicholl said “I’m absolutely over the moon. A huge thanks to all those who have made this possible: the artists, the punters, my immediate family and my extended musical family. The last two years have been a whirlwind. I’m very excited for what lies next.”
Live music venues and festivals play a vital role in the music industry in Ireland, giving international and homegrown artists a platform to engage with fans and build new audiences. They also play a central role in urban and rural communities across the country, providing a social gathering space for varied audiences, and contributing hugely to the domestic economy. Connolly’s, an intimate third-generation music venue steeped in history has seen many musical lovers flocking from far and wide to enjoy some of the very best in local, national, and international acts perform ‘Under the Hammers’. Since it’s re-opening in December 2015, Sam McNicholl has built on the strong values his late father, Paddy McNicholl, instilled in the venue. Together with his mum, Eileen McNicholl, and a small, dedicated team of close friends, Sam brings a special energy and magic to this tiny west Cork town, week after week.
We can expect more great things to come from this charming bar nestled in Leap. Coming up over the next few weeks, the line-up includes Dave Geraghty of Bell X1, Wyvern Lingo, Liam O’Maonlai, Marlene Enright, Stephen James Smith, Willy Mason, Brian Deady, Wiggle and John Blek, to name a few. Head west and raise a glass to Connolly’s www.connollyofleap.com
Upcoming events: http://connollysofleap.com/events/
Drogheda-based indie dance artist Donal Quinn has just released his brand new track ‘Precious’.
Mentioned by Hot Press as saying it “sounds quite unlike anything else we’ve come across”.
Described by Indie Buddie as “‘Precious’ is that wiggle and shimmy track that could coax the most stubborn person onto the dance floor. Get your sunglasses out, cocktails at the ready Mr. Quinn has brought the summer early”.
Played by the BBC Introducing it as – “the definition of a feel good track”.
Donal Quinn is gearing up for more releases. You can catch him:
Feb 26; Circle Sessions, The International Bar, Dublin
Mar 2; Dundalk Fm Live Session, The First Cut, Dundalk Fm
Mar 18; Mods, Skins and Soulies for Repeal; The Underground, Dame St.
Apr 5: Near Fm Live Session; Near Fm
Lisa Canny, a Mayo native living in the UK, has amassed over two million streams online, sold out shows across the UK and US and co-written with a host of artists including Kaiser Chiefs, Melissa Etheridge and Akon.
Lisa Canny has travelled the world and worked with a plethora of highly regarded names in the industry and was dubbed “Ireland’s next big female artist” by Miles Copeland of The Police. Heavily involved in traditional Irish music, Canny is the seven-time All Ireland Champion on harp and banjo. She was also named UK Future Music Songwriting Winner 2016, placed in the top ten of “Irish acts you don’t want to miss” by BBC America, has appeared on two PBS Specials, the Late Late Show, shared the stage with the likes of Gavin James, Lisa Hannigan and The Coronas.
Born and raised in County Mayo, Ireland, Lisa Canny is a notably talented musician who creates expertly crafted modern traditional Irish music that’s distinctive, upbeat and effortlessly entertaining. Best known for her incredible covers sold out live performances and her reputation for driving, propulsive and heartfelt delivery, Lisa’s mastering of technique and tradition is nothing short of astounding. Gifted with empowering confidence and a charming sense of honesty, the most exciting and consummate stage of Canny’s career is now pouring vehemently over the horizon.
Ireland’s Slow Riot are releasing their new double A-side single, ‘Voyeur/Burn in the City’, via Straight Lines Are Fine on February 2nd. The tracks are the first new material from the band since last year’s ‘Pink December’. Much has happened in the interim; the band expanding to a four-piece after the addition of second guitarist Liam O’Connor (formerly of Fonda), an intense period of songwriting, honing their live craft via numerous festival appearances (notably Electric Picnic, Other Voices), and the recording of a debut album which will be released later in 2018. ‘Voyeur and Burn in the City’ showcase their new approach and provide a tantalizing glimpse of what is to come with their debut full length release.
“Liam came to us with the chord progressions and guitar melody of ‘Voyeur’. I liked the contrast between the spectral, somewhat eerie verse parts and the melodic, hopeful chorus”, says vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy. “Lyrically I wanted to convey this disparity between hope and desperation and found a similarity in, what can be, the voyeuristic nature of romance today.”
‘Burn In The City’ employs dreamy guitars, sweeping synths and a reverberant, spacious mix. The track is hard hitting yet sentimental, animated yet brooding, recalling acts such as Eagulls, Preoccupations and Merchandise in its new-wave dance beats with dark, soaring undertones.
Fresh out of the studio, the ‘Voyeur/Burn in the City’ single was recorded with longtime collaborator Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s and Biffy Clyro) at Savage Sound Studios, Hastings at the beginning of 2018. Vanbergen has been a catalyst for the band’s creativity since hooking up with them for the recording of their debut Cathedral EP. Their working relationship continues to thrive, with production of the new material pushing the band into richer sonic territory.
The band have collaborated with up and coming Irish artist Darragh Dempsey for the artwork and videos for ‘Voyeur/Burn In The City’. Recognised by the art world world as a rising talent, Dempsey’s ‘Flesh’ painting was inspired by Francis Bacon’s ‘Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X’; the anguish and surrealism of the image echoing the themes of the band’s new music.
Slow Riot emerge from their hometown of Limerick backed with support from the likes of The Irish Times, Nialler9, Other Voices, Electric Picnic, Today FM and Whelan’s One’s to Watch; their plaudits building at an impressive rate. They’re flying the flag for a new breed of Irish acts ready for the global stage.
They have also amassed a rich profile of support this side of the Irish Sea, with the likes of Drowned In Sound, Q Magazine, The Line Of Best Fit, Clash and Gigwise amongst many others citing them for big things. Previous single ‘Trophy Wife’ earned the band plaudits from Shaun Keaveny on the 6Music Breakfast Show, Radio X, Absolute and was a mainstay on the band’s native Today FM with DJ Paul McLoone declaring Slow Riot to be “my new favourite Irish band”.
Slow Riot returns to the UK in April to headline Communion’s club night in London plus regional dates, but not before they play their first headline Dublin show at Whelan’s on March 22nd. Summer festival dates will be announced very soon.
‘Voyeur/Burn in the City’ Double A-side Single
Out on February 2nd via Straight Lines Are Fine
“A heady mix of layered atmospherics and fuzzy pop that bodes well for the future” – Drowned in Sound
“With this latest release, Slow Riot join the ranks of Eagulls and Savages at the forefront of a new breed of bands fusing danceable beats with dark-pop sentiments.” – The Line Of Best Fit